( Above Photo Credit: flickr / Providence Bruins )
By: Mark Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
When the National Hockey Leagues St. Louis Blues organization ended their affiliation with the American Hockey Leagues Chicago Wolves, the Blues needed to find places for their top minor-pro prospects to get the adequate skating time and continue the developmental process. The Blues seemingly had no interest in continuing to operate or share a minor-league club with new NHL franchise the Vegan Golden Knights who agreed with the Wolves on an affiliation in May of 2017. On October 10th, 2017, the Blues agreed to a five-year agreement with the established AHL club, San Antonio Rampage but that won’t begin until the 2018-19 season. Before the 2017-18 campaign begun the Providence Bruins received Blues prospect goaltender Jordan Binnington on a loan agreement, and the timing was perfect as former Bruins prospect netminder and 2012 first-round selection Malcolm Subban was claimed off waivers from the new NHL franchise the Vegas Golden Knights.
Armstrong says Jordan Binnington assigned to Chicago of AHL. But Wolves loaded in goal, so Blues looking for more suitable landing spot.
— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 4, 2017
Although, I found the Binnington loan agreement to Providence a bit frustrating as Bruins 2015 third-round selection Dan Vladar remained in the East Coast Hockey League with the Premier “AA” B’s affiliate Atlanta Gladiators after playing well when recalled to the AHL, it took me awhile to understand the angle Bruins management was going with a move like this. Regardless of my unprofessional opinion, B’s management knows what they’re doing and believe a player like Vladar would benefit greatly with more time at the lower level in his development and wouldn’t doubt he will be in Providence in the 2018-19 season as that will be his last season of his current three-year entry-level contract.
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 9, 2017
Binnington, who’s now an AHL veteran at the age of 24 was drafted by the Blues in the third-round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has only seen action at the top-level of the world in one game totaling 13 minutes in the crease for St. Louis in 2015-16. Spending his entire minor-pro career in the Blues organization serving one full season with the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings and the rest of his tenure with the AHL Chicago team, after having a successful junior career in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack. In his time with the AHL Chicago team, the 6′-1″ 174-pound Richmond Hills, Ontario Canada native posted a career record of 59-41-17, a goals-against-average of 2.74, and .913 save percentage. His best year for the Wolves team came in the 2014-15 season where he compiled a 25-15-4 record with a 2.35 GAA, and .916% with three shutouts.
— GGSUnited (@GGSunited) December 6, 2017
This season with the Providence Bruins, Jordan is on pace to have a career year, and his efforts after being relocated have been spectacular the far better netminder over B’s developing project Zane McIntyre. In 11 games thus far in the 2017-18 campaign, Binnington is 9-1-1 with a GAA of 1.59 and .938 save% while earning one shutout. In a minimum of 10 games, Binnington’s goals-against-average is ranked an AHL best while his save percentage is ranked second. Former Bruins developing project Michael Hutchinson leads mostly all AHL goaltending categories with a 14-2-2 record with a 1.77 GAA and .947 save%. Leading the way in AHL victories this season is a two-way tie at 15 with Rochester Americans Linus Ullmark and Milwaukee Admirals Anders Lindback.
The 2017-18 AHL All-Star game will be held at the home of the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Arena un Utica, New York and with what Jordan is doing with his new team as a player on-loan, he should get recognized by the many that have the privilege to vote for the ultimate honor. Jordan is currently on a seven-game winning streak passing his career high of five he earned when he appeared in 45 games in 2014-15 in his first full professional AHL season.
Meanwhile in Hershey……
Pheonix Copley vs. Jordan Binnington
— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) December 17, 2017
The 21-8-3-0 first place Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference Providence Bruins finished up a season-long eight-game road trip last weekend in Belleville, Ontario with a 3-2 loss to the Senators and look to entertain the Rhode Island faithful after spending a month away from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in two of three games during this weekends schedule. The B’s host the 13-15-3-3 Hartford Wolf Pack tomorrow night, then make a short trip to Springfield, Massachusetts to play the Thunderbirds on Saturday night. Providence returns to the Dunk to end the third weekend game on Sunday when the Syracuse Crunch, a team the B’s lost 5-3 in the only meeting this season but also a team that knocked out the B’s in the 2017 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference finals where the Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate won the best-of-seven series 4-1.
Support Your Baby B’s!!!
If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.
Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!
PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940
— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) January 4, 2018